Purina drops campaign contributions to Steve King, citing 'recent statements'

Purina drops campaign contributions to Steve King, citing 'recent statements'
© Greg Nash

Pet food company Purina announced Tuesday that it will no longer make campaign contributions to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), becoming the latest company to do so as King faces criticism for past comments in support of white nationalist politicians. 

"Our PAC contributions are typically made to elected officials from both parties who represent the local communities where we have operations and associates. Representative King’s recent statements are in conflict with our values and we are no longer contributing to his campaign," Purina wrote in a tweet in response to journalist Judd Legum, who had asked why Purina donated to King.

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Dairy company Land O'Lakes and tech giant Intel Corp. also determined in recent days that they will no longer support King's campaign with financial contributions.  

King has recently faced criticism for comments he has made against diversity and in support of white nationalism.

On Saturday, King defended his ties to the Austria Freedom Party, a group founded by a former Nazi SS officer. He told The Washington Post that if the party were in the United States, it would be Republican.

King has also previously said "diversity is not our strength," voiced support for a white nationalist candidate in Canada and retweeted a self-described Nazi sympathizer.

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House GOP campaign arm, on Tuesday condemned King over his "recent comments, actions, and retweets."

"Congressman Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingColorado GOP Rep. Scott Tipton defeated in primary upset Bottom line House GOP leaders condemn candidate who said black people should be 'proud' of Confederate statues MORE’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior," Stivers tweeted.

King on Tuesday responded to what he described as "attacks" against him, claiming in a tweet that they are "orchestrated by nasty, desperate, and dishonest fake news" with the goal of impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE.

King, who is seeking reelection in next week's midterm, faces a potentially close race against Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten in Iowa's 4th Congressional District. A poll released Tuesday showed King with only a 1-point lead in the race.